Let's examine the Blue Knights


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Before people jump in on this one... Its clear from a few of your posts on these subjects that you have a problem with the structure that makes up our organization. I would be interested in hearing more about what you have seen, experienced, and know about the direction and vision of blue knights. In being fair and open, hopefully we as a community can learn more of where you are coming from.

With that said, maybe I can give the little insight I know about on the direction and vision of the Blue Knights. Over the past 5 years, major changes have been made to the creative staff and instructional staff. For staff, current members, and alumni it has been a very turbulent time. I do have to say that I remain heartbroken that Robbie Billings is no longer with the organization. I know that was probably a very hard decision to be made after so many years of tireless service to the organization and with such a popular following with the alumni. This opened the door to hiring DCI Hall of Fame member Marc Sylvester to lead the visual design. This has brought a completely different marching technique and visual philosophy. A big chunk of consistent visual staff was turned over. On the music end, I have to say I don't know when the change over happened, but from 2002 to one of the past few years we were using Russ Newbury as the arranger and creative influence on the book. The past few years we have shifted when we brought Jim Prime on board - yet another DCI Hall of Fame member. With all of the changes at the top of the organization it is amazing that performance quality has not decreased. The last major shift like this was in 2001 - results speak for themselves at that time. As an alumni, I have not agreed with some of the decisions made, but can see that they were made for the survival of the corps. You may not be excited about the shows that the current and past Blue Knights have put on the field, but know that the organization has taken great sacrifices in order to provide a new vision for the Blue Knights - a vision many people in this community seem to respect and be excited about.

If you would like to get to know more about the vision and direction, the Blue Knights are always looking for people to help out at camps and on tour.

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People - LOOK ON THE FIELD! BK are consistently BORING every year. Fault? Not the Kids in the Corps. THE DIRECTION / VISION is at fault. BD stand and play. Sit and Play. Their Marching and Execution

OMG I have noticed this too. I have noticed plenty of times this year on tour as a volunteer with a top 12 corps, where a corps will change part of their show, and the very next performance, you'd th

If one more person tries to compare drum corps to sports I think I'm going to be sick.

Seems the consensus is we don't have the visual juice, this year. Well, for being in year two of a total technique overhaul, I feel pretty good about the corps. The visual package is plenty hard, just not in ways most folks pick up on.(snipped)

JBentley

...last sentence is key. These guys are doing a fine job of maxing-out some horrifically hard ensemble moves...OTOH, there are not a few, er, "clusters" (read:clutters) that affect the *effect* if you catch my drift.

I had the privilege of hanging with this staff in late June and IMO they are on a par with any out there...so many factors come into play (and have been mentioned already in this thread) that I'll just leave it here...the future is bright for BK!

cg

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It doesn't matter if it is preshow or not - it's still on the field.

I'd bet that if some corps started up a woodwind quintet for their pre-show, there would be plenty words said about it in here.

I am just not a fan of singing in drum corps shows, pre-show or not. Recordings are a little different, because at least there is some sort of quality, but have never enjoyed any kind of singing by any marchers.

I guess Crown is kinda at fault for my feeling that way, when they blurted out, depressingly, "nothing really matters..." at the end of their Bohemia show.

Actually, there has been non-amplified singing in the drum corps activity for more than 35 years now, so your criticism of BAC's preshow has no merit from a historical perspective. I'm not sure how a pre-recorded sampling of a professional vocalists (such as during BK's preshow or BS's preshow-doing the Jason Bourne voiceover) qualifies in your mind as more "authentic" drum corps that Boston's horn players rehearsing and performing a vocal intro, but I won't argue the point.

I have said repeatedly that I thoroughly enjoyed both Blue Stars and Blue Knights this year....I just don't see the need of to throw sour grapes. Every corps is working hard, and it would be foolish not to grant that all these corps have stepped it up this year.

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Boywonder in his own mind.

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Perhaps if you have to put a disclaimer in your signature stating that you're unqualified to give any sort of educated opinion then maybe you just shouldn't give your opinion. Reading is fun too, right?

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From what I have seen of this year's corps, Blue Knights are sitting right about where they deserve. First of all, there's nothing wrong with where they are now. They've achieved a lot this season and have come a long way from grappling with Glassmen for 11th place the last couple of years. But they're not better than Phantom or SCV or Bluecoats. Not this year. I don't care what uniform they're wearing. They need to improve their drumline, need to improve their colorguard, and they're going to need a harder show.

:worthy:

Mike

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MnM, you hit the nail on the head and then some! I too loved and will always love Robbie Billings and his contributions to BK. He no doubt has had one of the if not THE largest impact on BK in it's history! I was sad to see him go, but I'm a better teacher and person to have been taught by him. Though hard to say bye, bringing in Sully I believe was a smart move! He has great vision of what BK should be growing to and what types of vehicles it needs to get there. In my youth I mightve jumped all over someone who claims BK is so horribly boring and flawed, but I'm wiser and older and more mature..... Ok I'm older.... Hahaha. BK puts out great products year in and out and whether it was a big prep step and dance and dark music based or straight legged entertaining drum corps, BK will be what it always is..... Consistent! More and more students are becoming passionate about BK... I should know, 4 of my former students march there now and at least 5 more will try out this Nov! Boring? It's opinion... Maybe just not the right one:-)

Wes P

BK 97 97

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MnM, you hit the nail on the head and then some! I too loved and will always love Robbie Billings and his contributions to BK. He no doubt has had one of the if not THE largest impact on BK in it's history! I was sad to see him go, but I'm a better teacher and person to have been taught by him. Though hard to say bye, bringing in Sully I believe was a smart move! He has great vision of what BK should be growing to and what types of vehicles it needs to get there. In my youth I mightve jumped all over someone who claims BK is so horribly boring and flawed, but I'm wiser and older and more mature..... Ok I'm older.... Hahaha. BK puts out great products year in and out and whether it was a big prep step and dance and dark music based or straight legged entertaining drum corps, BK will be what it always is..... Consistent! More and more students are becoming passionate about BK... I should know, 4 of my former students march there now and at least 5 more will try out this Nov! Boring? It's opinion... Maybe just not the right one:-)

Wes P

BK 97 97

Stop brainwashing those poor kids! tongue.gif

j/k. That's great that so many of your high school kids want to do drum corps. This will be off-topic, so I'll apologize in advance, but as a teacher in Texas (I think that's where you've mentioned you teach), do you feel a responsibility to Crossmen at all, seeing as how they're the only world class corps in Texas? I'm just curious. It seems like the biggest problem with having a corps in Texas is that all the kids go out of state to march.

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Yes... Love the Xmen have students trying out there next year. Have a student who is aging out from Xmen after 5-6 years in the corps... He's the baritone section leader:) Shout out..., GO JOSEPH DO IT UP!!

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Yes... Love the Xmen have students trying out there next year. Have a student who is aging out from Xmen after 5-6 years in the corps... He's the baritone section leader:) Shout out..., GO JOSEPH DO IT UP!!

That's excellent. I really feel like if more music educators in Texas embrace and support the Crossmen, that corps will be back in the elite of drum corps in no time. Maybe even next year now that those youngins have some experience.

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